Wednesday, February 29, 2012


And so I'm in Chicago. And nervous because I have nothing planned out. I have no where to stay (will be looking into a hostle), my car may get towed because I parked in no over night parking.

Let the stress begin.

Friday, February 24, 2012


When you have Beta readers, or, if you are a Beta reader, I think it's incredibly important to communicate. Not just to say, "Hey, this is what I'd like out of your comments," but to also say, "Hey, I'm really busy right now. I'll do my best, but...I'll be lagging."

I have a few people I'm reading for that in the last month they've gotten all of a chapter out of me. When I have time, I'm known to hit a chapter a night. But...things get in the way. So, as soon as I saw my plate start piling up, I sent the e-mail apologizing, and telling them my responses/my reading will be incredibly slow. Most of them said it was okay, so that was nice.

How have you guys been? Are you ready for March yet? I am.

Also, did anyone check into Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award? You may see a familiar name there for round two :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

True Life

Part of my absence is due to editing. A majority of my absence is due to the fact I'm going to Chicago soon for AWP and I'm pulling 14 hour days to be able to afford the trip.

Usually, I wake in the morning (its at least a two hour process), head to the mountain, ride or get lessons, then drive an hour to my second job. I get out of work at 9pm, have a 40ish minute drive until I go home. I shower right quick, collapse into bed with Baxter and prepare to start again. I haven't even started my computer in about four days.

I'm currently in bed posting this from my phone.

I promise to update more and offer more rambling in March.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Writing Prompt

Since I just spent all of the night working on submissions for PNWA, I'm exhausted, written and edited out, and cranky. I feel like with the aftermath of Valentine's Day, some of you may be feeling the way I am, too. So with that, don't lose heart. I've come up with a writing prompt to try out. And, it's a choose your own adventure. How fun!

Option 1:
*Go somewhere. McDonald's. The mall. A park. The beach. Anywhere where there will be people around you.
*Bring a notebook.
*Now sit for five to ten minutes observing the interactions around you.
*Find some people that you find terribly interesting.
*Fall in love with them for some reason.
*Now write the scene:
           How are they interacting with each other?
           What does their body language say?
           What perspective are you writing in?
           What is happening?
           What is the tension in the scene?


Option 2:
*Stay home.
*Grab a notebook.
*Put on your favorite movie or TV show.
*Pick a scene you really, really, really like.
*Write it:
           What is happening?
           What perspective are you writing in?
           Who are the characters?
            What is the tension in the scene?

For both of these, if you feel super ambitious, write the scene a few different ways; 1st person. 3rd person. His perspective. Her perspective. The table's perspective. You pick. It's amazing what you can do with writing, play with it. Remember, it's supposed to be fun!

Let me know what you come up with :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Kisses

If you read the quick post from yesterday...

Is going down. It's a blog hop, so make sure to check out the other entries through Hope and Cassie!

Anyways, enough rambling. Here's my smoochy scene from My Sister's Memories:

“So, am I still grounded?” Allie asks after dinner.
“Yes,” I answer without hesitation. It takes me a second to realize that she’s remembered this on her own. “I said it was for a week.” I’m then grateful that she had the decency to start this after Jordan and Melanie left.
“That’s stupid, why aren’t you grounded?” she asks.
“Why is that stupid?”
“Because, you might get expelled. You got sent to detention. And yet, I’m grounded, while you get to run around and do whatever you want,” she says.
“I’m the adult, Allie.”
“Only by default,” she says and I can’t help but to laugh.
“Fine,” I tell her, “if I were to be grounded, what would my punishment be?”
She sits for a second trying to decide whether or not I’m being serious. When she figures out that I am, she smiles. “Alright, young lady, this time you get off with a warning, next time I won’t be so lenient,” she tells me with a hand on her hip, while the other points at me.
I laugh again, “Thanks Mama Allie.”
“So, what’s my punishment tonight?” As if on cue, Alyssa, the goalie from the soccer team knocks on the door and Allie is sent off into the night.
“Be home by nine, please,” I call after her.
“Yea, yea,” she says waving me off.
Before I’m able to close the door, I see Jordan walking up. “Night, Allie,” he greets.
I open my door a little wider, “Hey.”
“Is that an invite?” he asks.
“Do you want it to be?”
“I feel like you may need to rehearse what you’re going to say at your meeting tomorrow,” he pauses, “and I brought some beer.”
“That sounds responsible,” I joke.
He tucks the six pack behind is back, “Bad idea?”
“Naw, I’ll have one. I just wanted to point out that it may not be responsible.”
“You’re supposed to be young and free, right?” he winks at me and sets the beer on the counter.
I hear my phone ring and dive onto the couch to answer it, “Hey.”
“Hey, are you okay?” Cassie asks. “You weren’t in class today. Did something happen with Allie?”
I laugh louder than I mean to, “No. Actually…I umm….got sent to detention.”
“No you didn’t!” she chuckles. “What the hell for?”
“I umm….attacked a kid in Allie’s class,” I say while looking at Jordan.
She laughs so hard I have to move the phone away from my ear, “That is the best thing I’ve heard all day. Thank you for that. What are you up to tonight?”
From the sound in her voice I think she’s going to invite me out, and I imagine that it’d be nice since I’ve only been hanging out with Allie and Jordan. “Jordan’s here.”
“Ohhh, the guy from last night?” she asks.
“Yea, that one.”
“He’s cute. I’d do him,” she says. When I don’t respond she asks, “Was that the wrong thing to say?”
I chuckle, “No, just awkward. But we’ll talk later, okay?”
“Yea, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Night.” I tell her. When I end the call I turn to Jordan, “Oh, also, remind me to thank your sister for setting up people to take Allie out,” I say.
“I’ll tell her you said so. I think she’s pretty excited about all of it.”
“She seems pretty optimistic about the situation,” I say.
He shrugs, “I think her attitude is the whole beggars can’t be choosers.”
I smile. “Wanna hear a funny story?”
“Of course,” he says.
“Allie tried to ground me tonight,” I tell him.
“You’re shitting me, right?” he laughs.
I shake my head, “She thinks it’s not fair that she’s grounded, meanwhile I’m allowed to attack people at school and get away with it.”
He takes a step closer to me and suddenly the atmosphere has shifted. When he speaks, his voice is gentle and more serious that I’d ever heard it, “You could use some…”
I take a tiny step toward him, “Sexual healing?”
He smiles but doesn’t laugh, which only makes me more anxious, “I was going to say guidance, but if you want to take things in that direction.”
I don’t tell him out loud that I want to. Instead, I look at the floor pattern in the apartment.
“Sarah?” he asks. When I look up he’s right in front of me, so close I can smell the soap on his skin. My heart leaps into every part of my body. As if Hollywood were producing my life, a stray strand of hair falls across my cheek. He leans over as he tucks it behind my ear for me. His fingers trail my jaw line and my entire face flushes. Every portion of me is vibrating. His fingers are still resting on my face.
“Yea?” I whisper, still unable to make eye contact.
I wait, adhering to my mother’s advice. Every inch of me shakes with anticipation. I can’t even imagine what his lips would feel like. My teeth bite against the corner of my lip for just a second.
He leans closer to me, and in one movement I stop breathing. His fingers tip my chin in his direction and his lips are on mine.
If it were possible for a body to dissolve, I’d be a puddle on the floor. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Stay Tuned

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and as such, there's a It's Getting Hot in Here Blog Hop. Oh yes. What does that mean?

Check THIS out to find out, and tune in tomorrow for my contribution :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Writing Books IV

Welcome to round four of the Writing Books Series. What does this mean? Basically that each Thursday (ideally, sometimes real life gets in the way) I'm going to post a book I've found helpful in my writing career, tell you why I found it helpful, and try to tell you a price range. I'll try to keep this up until I run out of books, or lose motivation, whichever comes first :)

Book Four is:

Writing Great Books For Young Adults.

I got this book last year after AWP. I actually ended up going two hours out of my way (in the completely wrong direction) to the Barnes and Noble (I had a gift card), and yea...long story short, this book said, "Buy me! Buy me!" So I did.

To be completely honest, I haven't fully gotten through it, but it's set up so that it's easy to sift through and take what you want out of it. One of the huge things that I think was a stellar prompt was, 'What made your high school experience different from others?' 

I thought back to my high school experience; I'd just changed schools, I was dating a boy in college (even when I was a freshmen), my best friend died, my sister's best friend died, the boy who showed me around school died, the boy who loaned me his pants died, my mom moved us into a trailer park, I went crazy and moved in with my sisters, I had to get surgery on my knee, I didn't drink, I was a rebel...(High school was NOT a good time for me, lol)
Bottom line, I was different in a million ways. 
I remember feeling like an outsider, and having one friend who had my back throughout 90% of it.

And then I started writing, and what emerged was Character Defects. Now, every time I start to write something I think, "How is my character different," all because of this one prompt. Oh, and the best part? The author is an agent. She was at PNWA this year (though, sadly, I wasn't able to meet her).

The cost ranges $5-$15, but it is very, very worth the money.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wait to Write

Ever have an idea pop into your head and you think it's the most brilliant thing in the entire world? Jot it down, but wait to write the story. Personally, I don't even jot the idea down (and in the morning I'm super angry because that was pure gold, man. Pure gold!). I wait.

If it's something that sticks with me, something that won't get out of my head, the characters start to dance in front of me. I can see the guy on the lacrosse team who broke the heart of the girl who...(you get the idea). But it's not enough.

So I keep waiting.

At long last my narrator steps up to the plate, "We don’t know anything yet. I’ve been hearing this lie for the last six hours." (First line of My Sister's Memories). Sarah started talking to me when I ignored her for WEEKS. I'd started thinking about my NaNoWriMo project in October, but life got in the way, swallowed me, pushed me through a meat grinder...and writing took a back seat. But Sarah wasn't going away. 

(On an ADD moment, I appologize that formatting has gotten messed up, I'm not quite sure how to fix it...)

Anyways, so Sarah. I went under a bridge during the move to Maine, and started thinking of what it would be like to not remember all of my favorite bridges, or how hard it would be for my sister to see me go through that. How did this happen?
Since I was driving, why not cause a car accident. 

By the time I arrived in Maine, I had to find a place to live, get aquainted with the area, put in job applications. I still ignored Sarah until she started screaming in my ear. Until I knew Allie had survived the accident, but was in a coma. I knew her parents were dead. 

And then I started writing. advice for this lovely day is to wait to write your masterpiece. Sometimes the longer you're able to ignore them, the louder they get.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February, The Month Of Deadlines

Sorry there's been such a delay. I've been sucked back into real life rather than writing life. I'm back to being tired all the time, trying to edit where/when I can for people who are editing for me. I will update this as I can, but it's not going to be a constant thing for me. I'll do my best, thanks for your patience!

Also, did any of you enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest? What about PNWAs? What are you guys working on?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Writing Books III

Welcome to round three of the Writing Books Series. What does this mean? Basically that each Thursday (ideally, sometimes real life gets in the way) I'm going to post a book I've found helpful in my writing career, tell you why I found it helpful, and try to tell you a price range. I'll try to keep this up until I run out of books, or lose motivation, whichever comes first :)

So, Book Three is:


My sister got me this book about a year ago. Granted, I haven't fully gotten through it, but the parts I've gotten through have rocked my world. This is for those of you who keep a journal. It revolutionizes the way you think, how you approach it. It tells you to always keep your journal with you (though I haven't....oops). It revamped the way I time-keep, so each entry I say; day, start time, end time, where I'm at/who I'm with, etc. Because of this, I've actually gotten some story ideas, and also had some lovely journal entries to go back to, rather than just rambling about why I'm pissed off that day.
Price is $5-$15, look around though. I'm not sure where all you can get it at (like I said, my sister got it for me :) ). 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why Do You Blog?

Holy February! I cannot believe it's February already. Did January even ever start?? Anyways..

J.A. Bennett had an awesome post about how Blogging is an Art, and Cassie Mae recently had a blog interview that asked, What makes you follow someone when you browse through blogs? Just recently, I met my critique partner in real life (the one that survived THIS), and she was phenomenal. We discussed writing, and at some point she asked, "Why do you keep a blog?"

Here's why I keep a writing blog:

*To share my experiences with people
      I've made a lot of dumb mistakes (See: calling Nathan Bransford and asking what a query letter was). I post about my experiences, the awkward, "OMG WHAT DID I JUST DO?!?!?!" moments, so that maybe you won't have to go through them. (It's also why I made the Writerly Advice column). I write about how hard it is to get rejected, and hopefully at some point, I'll be able to post the awesome post that says, 'HEY, HEY, BUY MY BOOK!' Speaking of buying a book...

*Creating a fanbase
       Followers may not seem like much of a fan base, but when NinjaGirl or Peggy Eddleman announced they'd landed agents, I peed in my pants a little for them. I can't wait til they get published! It may take some time to save up money, but you'd better believe I'll buy their stuff. I'd like to think that my wonderful followers would feel the same way with me :)

*It's fun
        I enjoy nothing more than to find a really awkward picture of myself and somehow fit it into the blog. Or, I like to post about Baxter and make it writing related, or snowboarding. Plus, on days where I don't feel like writing, it makes me feel somewhat accomplished

Those are the main reasons that I blog. Mostly for me, partly for you. But I hope we both get something out of it :)
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